National Council of Tourism and Antiquities promotes awareness about UAE’s history

ABU DHABI: The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities initiated contact with the Ministry of Education to develop an overall plan to enable the youth to read and learn more about the history of the UAE.

The move was in response to a recent call by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to nationals to read more to expand their knowledge of the history of their country and to preserve it as an integral part of the national identity, according to Chairman of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities Abdul Rehman Al Owais who is also the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

As part of an overall educational programme and response to the call, the Council made visits to tens of schools nationwide and organized lectures and competitions to encourage students to read about the UAE’s history and antiquities, he noted.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid’s call adds a boost to efforts to raise awareness of the national heritage of the UAE, to document and preserve its history and to give the youth an opportunity to learn more about it, he further noted.

Al Owais cited Umm Al Nar which goes back to the 3rd Millennium BC as one of the civilizations which originated from the UAE and expanded into the Arabian Peninsula and interacted with other ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia and India. He also cited Julfar city, from the 4th Hijri century, and the Jumeirah Islamic city of the Umayyad period.

Following its success, the programme was integrated in the Council’s 2014-2016 strategy, the Director General of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities Mohammed Khamis Al-Muhairi said.

Upon its establishment, the Council collaborated with the Ministry of Education to develop a project to raise awareness of students of the antiquities and ancient history of the UAE, Al Muhairi noted.

The country’s rich history dates back to the Neolithic period around 5,500 BC or 7,500 years ago. Islam was brought to the country by envoys of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in 630 AD. Pearl diving and seafaring were the main means of livelihood of the early inhabitants of the country then.

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